August 17, 2022

35mm slide, ca. 1950s, the Corita Art Center Slide Collection. © Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community

“It is Easy to Find the Materials and Tools”: Mosaics and Community at Immaculate Heart College and The Watts Towers

by Ava Lohr (2022 Getty Marrow Digital Collections and Research Intern)

As a recent college graduate in art history, my latest research consisted of the history of Black assemblage artists in Los Angeles working in the 1960s and 1970s. A site that would continuously come up as a part of that history was Sabato (Simon) Rodia’s iconic Watts Towers. To my excitement, during my research at Corita Art Center, I found that Immaculate Heart College’s (IHC) art department was deeply inspired by the Watts Towers and later, in direct dialogue with the Watts Towers arts community. While a broader overview of the socio-political history of the Watts Towers and the Watts arts community's relationship to Corita and Immaculate Heart College will be addressed in a second blog post, I want to begin by introducing the rich mosaic culture of IHC’s art department in the 1950s and early 1960s and elaborate on how this culture informed the art department and Corita's unique approach to artmaking. 

To read the full post click here.